A committee of church music experts working to compile a new hymn collection knew that “Amazing Grace” would make the cut. “How Great Thou Art” was also a sure thing.
After all, says Bert Polman, a Calvin College music professor, both of these classic hymns are regularly sung with roof-rattling fervor in both CRC and RCA congregations.
Hymns for Worship, published by Faith Alive Christian Resources, includes hymn texts “from olden time to modern times,” says Polman, a member of the committee and the co-editor of the collection. “These are hymn texts that have appeared in most hymnals and are still in use today.”
Faith Alive Christian Resources is planning to release a new hymnal — Lift Up Your Hearts: Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs — in 2013 to serve the CRC and the RCA (see www.crcna.org/pages/hymnal.cfm). This new hymnal will include many of the familiar hymns found in Hymns for Worship.
Polman says the process of creating a new hymnal that will include much-loved favorites as well as contemporary songs is not easy. As a result, the committee is working hard to ensure that the new hymnal will be broad in scope and full of rich music for all of the ages.
“You have to be very careful about what you put in a book that you edit. Otherwise, it becomes a very private vehicle,” Polman said. “This is a hymnal for all people of God.”